Kung Fu Widgets and the Noodle Soup Web

One of the turning points in Kung Fu Panda comes in a conversation between Po, the panda who becomes the Dragon Warrior, and his father, Mr Ping, the goose who makes noodle soup. Ping tells Po something he should have told him a long time ago. No, it isn’t what you might assume from what I’ve just told you.

Anyway, just before that turning point for Po, Ping identifies a turning point for noodle soup: “the future of noodles is dice cut vegetables, no longer slices.” Meanwhile, on the web, the booming widget economy shows the promise of small content that can go anywhere.

Yes, I am using the metaphor of noodle soup for the web. And, in choosing that particular quote/link, I am casting Steve Rubel in the role of the old goose. I hope that Steve won’t be offended, especially given the importance of the Ping role, and the incredible resume of James Hong, who provides the voice in the movie.

If the web is noodle soup, then widgets are its dice-cut vegetables. Widgets are microchunks of content that can go anywhere on the web. If you want to see a one-minute movie illustrating widgets, I offer the biased recommendation of The Clearspring Chronicles, Volume 1. Clearspring is a particular widget platform, but not much in the video is really specific to that platform.

I’ve already offered an implicit recommendation for Kung Fu Panda, which just came out on DVD. I intend to make that recommendation explicit in a further post.

30-Second Bunnies Movie Theatre

How could I have lived this long without finding the site at which a troupe of bunnies parodies a collection of movies by re-enacting them in 30 seconds? Perhaps it’s because I never found the excellently-named Applefoot before.

You might be able to guess what eminently parody-ready movie the icon represents. As an additional clue, I hear that it has recently been parodied, unintentionally and at full length, by its most recent sequel.

Totoro: There's a Movie Too?

I just watched My Neighbor Totoro for the first time. That’s ridiculous, for a number of reasons: I’ve seen, and loved, other movies by Hayao Miyazaki; this is one of a number of Totoroesque posts here, although the previous ones refer to the Totoro Forest Project.

I watched it with my kids: Maddie, who is 4 (and three quarters) and Max, who is 2. They were entranced, although Maddie was also upset. The mother of the two little girls in the movie is in hospital. Maddie’s mother was at work, in the Longwood medical center. But when you’re 4, and watching a movie in which a 4-yo gets lost on the way to the hospital where her mother is… Next time we watch Totoro, we should do so all together.

Anyway, come with me to a rainy bus stop, where two girls waiting for their father are joined by Big Totoro, see the bus that Totoro catches, and stay until the end of the clip for a little context.

By the way, even in this 6-minute scene, I notice differences between the subtitles in this version, and the soundtrack of the DVD. The DVD in question is the 2006 Disney version; there’s some debate (e.g., among the reviewers at Amazon) about the (de)merits of the different DVD editions.

Mamma Mia!

I just went to see Mamma Mia!! Yes, I did mean to use two exclamation marks, the first of which is part of the movie title/link. A few observations:

  • I doubt that I will ever recover. Clarification, added later: the movie is as dreadful as I expected without being quite as bad as I feared.
  • I only actually saw the first hour, after which my daughter pronounced herself bored.
  • It includes a rather likable performance from Meryl Streep. This is worthy of note because she usually seems to me to be acting very hard, and in a way that distracts from the character she is trying to portray.
  • The star of the movie, Amanda Seyfried, grew up about an hour from where we’re spending the weekend (she in Allentown, PA, we in Blue Bell).
  • Update: I forgot to add, since it seems so obvious, that the movie is dreadful.